According to historians, John Stephen is known as the "King of Carnaby Street" and a pioneer in men's fashion history. Prior to owning his own business, he worked for Vince's, a menswear boutique with a primarily homosexual clientele. He used his experience there as inspiration for his own business. However, he realized that he needed to market to a heterosexual clientele in order for his unconventional designs to hit mainstream fashion,
His vision was to make homosexual dress a mainstream trend that was unbounded by sexual orientation. He was able to make his vision come to life, and quickly due to the changing social trends in Britain.